If you are like most people, you dread that time you spend paying bills each month and hurry through the task. The first step to saving some money will require you to take a little more time analyzing those monthly expenses, but you should like the final results. You initially need to understand where you are currently spending your income to develop a plan to reduce spending and increase savings. Try to write down every penny you spend for one month and use the following list to help look for items to reduce or eliminate.
- Cable Bill - Do you really need all of those premium channels? Is there a basic service that would meet your needs?
- Cell Phone - Does your currnet plan suit your pattern of use, or do you often get stuck with expensive charges for extensive usage? Review your plan and your calling habits and look for ways to reduce your cost. Perhaps you can eliminate a costly land-line if you could get by with only a cell phone.
- Auto/Home Insurance - When is the last time you did some competitive quoting for your insurance needs? Many companies will make special offers and pricing packages for new customers.
- Gasoline - Reduce the amount of gas you burn by eliminating frivolous trips. Planning your outings to combine errands will reduce your auto expenses. Keep your tires properly inflated to maximize your gas mileage.
- Utilities - Dial your thermostat down manually or get a programmable thermostat to help with heating bills in the winter. Check your water heater to see if you can reduce the setting, and be sure to turn off any items that are not in use (lights, television, radio).
- Insulation - Is your home sufficiently insulated? Have an expert evaluate your home. Many companies will inspect and recommend improvements for little or no charge.
- Vending Machines - Stop using them! The cost of convenience is astronomical. Plan ahead and bring your snacks from home.
- Lunch - Do you eat out for lunch every day? Packing your own lunch can save you more than $20 per week.
- Coupons - Yes, they can be bothersome, but the savings are undeniable.
- Just Say No - Don't give in to whims. Eliminate spontaneous purchases and stick to your budget to reduce wasteful spending.
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